Photo by Salt Water New England

Thursday, January 20, 2022

Old Maps, Framed

My 1868 U.S Coast Survey, Kennebec and Sheepscot Rivers, Maine
Maps on the wall are natural gathering spots, and the larger the better.  They provide information and context.  World maps attract travelers.  Local maps are helpful.  Old maps add history.  (Undated old maps challenge any group to figure out when it was created.)  Topos from the trail have scars.  And even in this digital world, physical maps represent a perfection of presentation.  

Photo Credit: Muffy Aldrich

13 comments:

  1. My father was an old salt and a bit of a craftsman. He has once took an old brass ship's lantern (starboard) and made a rectangular shade of old charts from places he had navigated. He was very adept at knot work, and the edges were done in beautiful tiny braiding. I believe it was passed on to a graduating midshipman as father was winnowing his things. I remember sitting at his desk and thinking of sailing many of those areas. I share your love of maps.

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  2. I too love old maps. We have several framed around the house including our region in the 18th c., the 1876 Atlas maps of our home towns, and an original 1845 drawing of the county in which I spent my childhood.

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  3. Several years ago, friends gifted me with an antique map of the Indian sub-continent. I love it hanging on my wall.

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  4. I adore old maps and charts. It is very interesting to live in an old New England town and see the maps from its founding to the present, where the original farms and roads were, etc. I find very old nautical charts to be fascinating. Love 1700’s cartographers warning of dangerous areas “Here be dragons.”

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  5. Three years ago when hunting for a summer house in Austria, our agent showed us one of the most interesting, and now I think very preppy, houses I have ever seen in my life. It used to belong to a former American soldier which was using it as a second, next to his flat in Amsterdam, domicile. Plenty of navy maps, perhaps not the most beautifully frame but still impressive, old rugs, bookshelves full of books, collection of old oil lamps from Persia, old vintage skis from the area on the wall and again, maps and antique prints. The location of the house was not interesting at all but driving there for so many hours early December was well worth just to see the interior. Unfortunately the owner's daughter wasn't interested in selling maps and other items...

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  6. Just superb! I have filled my boat shop with vintage Maine/New England maps, and charts! Thank you once again!

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  7. We have a large nautical chart of Martha's Vineyard, our favorite vacation spot, that we received as a wedding gift. Also a map of Antigua, where my grandfather came from, and a 1940s New York City subway map that a friend gave us. The most recent addition is a map showing the coastline from New York to Boston, showing many of the areas most important to us (I grew up in New York, my wife on Cape Cod; we lived in Brooklyn and Westchester before moving overseas, and now live outside Boston; we're moving back to NYC this summer).

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  8. If you ever get a chance, The Map House in London is amazing. The sales people are wonderful to work with. We purchased a very large Stanford Library map for our living room and we could not be happier.

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  9. Lovely!!!! Love your lighting!

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  10. I found an early chart of the entire coast from Canada to South America. My brother has homes on the water in Rockport, Massachusetts and Salt Cay in the Turks and Caicos. Examining the chart we realized that each is within sixty miles of the same longitude!

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  11. Old local town 'lot maps' here on the Maine coast often show long narrow plots side by side extending from the shore inland. The lots were laid out that way so each family of owners could have waterfront, a home and outbuildings, a vegetable garden, corn or other fields, then pasturage and a woodlot for firewood or building materials. If there was spring, so much the better.

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  12. I still have a framed 1984 National Geographic Caribbean map hanging at work. (Okay, that's not very old....😄)

    I've loved maps since I was a child. Each time we PCS'd dad would show me the route we would be driving to the new Air Force base.

    As an adult I got a B.S. in Applied Geography/ Cartography. And now work as a civilian Nautical Cartographic analyst for the Navy.

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  13. In our town, every 4th year or so, around the holidays, our Historic Association puts together a holiday house tour and features 10 old homes to tour. One home was owned by a collector of old maps. This guy had original maps from the 1400's through current. All framed and hung throughout the home. It was amazing to see how our ancestors thought the world looked back in the day. The homeowner was very knowledgeable of his maps and was so happy to share the information with us. It was astonishing. --Holly in PA

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